Scripture: Proverbs 3 (focus on v. 11-12)
Observation: Accept the Lord’s discipline, even when it’s painful. He disciplines us not because he’s vengeful or mean, but because he wants the very best for us. Sometimes, the only way we can receive God’s best for us is through his correction.
Application: As a new parent, I’m trying to learn this whole “discipline” thing – and admittedly, I’m not very good at it. I know disciplining my little Luka is important so that he learns right from wrong – but when I say, “Luka, no!” and he turns around, smiles, and shakes his head “yes,” I just want to laugh and shower him in kisses, not reprimand him. I mean, can you blame me?!
But when I finally know that I have to discipline Luka, I discipline him from a place of love, not hate. I want him to grow up being loving, patient, and kind, willing to share, able to differentiate right from wrong. Discipline is the only way to shape him into the man I desire him to be one day.
Our God sees us the same way I see my son – and God disciplines us because he loves us so much.
“For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” (v. 12)
Our God disciplines us because he delights in us.
Sometimes his discipline feels gentle, other times it feels harsh – but it’s all born out of his deep love and grace for us.
In the New Testament, we read about a letter that the apostle Paul wrote to a group of people in Corinth. While we don’t know what the letter said, we know that it included painful correction. Here’s what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 7:8-10:
“I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.”
Our God will do anything to lead us away from sin.
Discipline – however painful – is the only thing that stands in the way of God’s best for you. So, examine your life right now. Where is God trying to correct you, to offer another way? How can you delight in his discipline? Do you truly desire his best?
Prayer: God, I pray you’ll let me embrace your discipline, motivated to be lovingly corrected so I can receive your best. I pray I’ll listen and respond, fully confident that your ways are best. Amen.